“You wanna bet on a dude fucking an alligator? Money Plane.”
This won’t be a long review. This movie is trash but its earnest trash but I say that affectionately. It is repetitive, it isn’t particularly well executed. But it is hilarious and fun. It’s one of those bad movies that is very watchable instead of being a slog.
I don’t like bad movies that try to be bad or try to be in on the joke. That ruins things. It’s the difference between enjoying Samurai Cop and then being miserable watching Samurai Cop 2. This movie doesn’t feel like it is trying to be bad. It feels like they had an idea, and you can see how this idea could be good, but only had a few bucks and a tray of sandwiches to make the movie so they did the best they could. That’s why I like it. That’s why I’ll forgive this as a bad movie.
It looks like a knock off of a TV show like CSI or Hawaii Five-0. Sort of like how an Asylum movie looks (the studio behind Sharknado, Transmorphers, etc.) but this is 100% more earnest. It’s going for an Ocean’s 11 style heist film set in 2020 with crypto currency and data hacking and dark web and rogue nations and the criminal underworld all converging on this plane, the Money Plane.
The issue? It just isn’t that good. The heist plan of your heist movie doesn’t make a ton of sense, and that’s the entire premise of a heist movie.
The props are cheap like using dollar store poker chips. They make good use of the set, but it just isn’t nearly as glamorous as the idea would have you imagine. There’s a drone sequence that you know they though would be like a military drone striking down bad guys, but its just a Christmas morning present type drone with a normal pistol ziptied to it.
The dialogue isn’t overly coherent. Just a bunch of clichéd lines that are going for the feeling of an action/heist line but don’t really make sense as one. Like those scripts you see where an AI read 100 action scripts and then wrote scenes. There’s one character, The Concierge, who can’t even pronounce “concierge”. Instead he refers to himself as “The Con-see-air-ss”. Maybe he wanted to make his title sound more bougie.
The editing has all those classic errors where between cuts blood goes missing and reappears. The scale of plane isn’t consistent. And they’re clearly cutting and editing around only having some of the name talent, Kelsey Grammar most notably, on set for what I imagine was one or two days maximum.
It does have a few moments that are over the top enough to be enjoyable, especially as you start to realize the limitations they were under. The movie isn’t even 90 minutes long as it clocks in at 82 minutes so it doesn’t waste a lot of time. It comes and goes without being offensive to your senses.
I can see when they wrote this script how they probably had some great ideas. The Money Plane. It’s a big jumbo private jet funded by criminals who like to gamble on sick criminal things like piranhas eating dudes and Russian roulette and whatever. Bunch of seedy evil egomaniac criminals playing poker and getting into it with each other to build tension over which criminal snaps and tries to blow the other guy away. Then you have your fun Ocean’s 11 action heist going on with your loveable group of crooks outwitting and out-smarting all these bad guys.
But then you get into reality and they’ve got an old plane set that looks like a hollowed out standard sized plane that would normally seat six or nine across. The twisty-turny plot isn’t as clever as it was supposed to be. It’s very straightforward. Sometimes it’s even dumb like your heist plan not accounting for the co-pilot on something called The Money Plane.
It get’s a bit repetitive with the nerd guy winning gambling a lot, and I mean a lot, to show how smart he is. The femme fatale fights three goons three times in the same sort of “gotcha!” fight to prove how tough she is.
And that’s not including anything about how gambling with chips and roulette and stuff wouldn’t be easy or wise on a plane that has turbulence that could shake everything and cause disasters when you’re getting this wild.
The big action finale is just as hokey. This gets back to them only having Kelsey Grammar for a weekend and they didn’t have enough time to film him actually getting into a gun fight with the bad guys so they just cut together him shooting at nothing, and then cut in shots of private military dudes getting shot.
The movie stars Adam (great name) Copeland aka Edge of WWE fame. I recognized one of the other actors, who turned out to be the director Andrew Lawrence, as a lab tech or something from Hawaii Five-0. Thomas Jane, the original film Punisher, is in this too as the military back up man. Denise Richards was around for an afternoon to film enough scenes to be Wife.
I think Edge is trying to look conflicted and stressed for most of the movie, but it almost looks like he’s puzzled by a test questions where he knows 60% of the answer but can’t remember the first 20% or the last 20% of the formula.
Kelsey Grammar was great in his limited capacity. He doesn’t give it his all, but he gives this movie exactly as much talent as you would expect for this movie. At one point he yells “I’M DARIUS EMMANUEL GROUCH THE THIRD! THE RUMBLE!” What more do you need from an actor?
I’ve been hard on the movie, but it’s just what it is. It isn’t great, but it isn’t insultingly bad. It’s definitely bad, but in an authentic way. I’ve watched far worse movies. This one doesn’t feel like a cheap cash grab or way to launder money to a bunch of actors like other bad straight to DVD/streaming films.
I almost wonder if someone big in Hollywood will see the movie and go “I can do that but way better” and in 4 years we’ve got a wicked heist action movie. The bones of the idea are here, but the muscle, guts and skin are not.
Watch this movie when you want to kill
90 82 minutes with a bit of bad fun. It’s no worse than most of the crap that streaming services are putting out as their own originals on Netflix, Prime, etc. Maybe it’s just dumb enough in the right way to tickle your fancy.